Monday, October 31, 2011

Internet Appearances for A REAL BASKET CASE

For the trade paperback and ebook re-release of the first book in my Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series, A Real Basket Case, I've planned a tightly-packed joint appearances schedule during mid-November in Colorado with fellow Colorado-based mystery author Ann Parker. But, if you don't live in Colorado, don't despair! I'll also be winging my way all over the Internet. Here's where you can catch me:

Monday, October 31 - Sunday, November 6
International Thriller Writers Thriller Roundtable
"What moved you to write your first novel?"
(A very appropriate discussion since A Real Basket Case was my first published novel!)

Tuesday, November 1, all day
Barnes & Noble Mystery Book Club
Guest Post on "Stretching the Boundaries of a Cozy Mystery" and Q&A

Thursday, November 3, 2 PM MST, 4 PM EST
Interview and Discussion on
Gelatis Scoop GZONE Blogtalkradio Program

Sunday, November 6, 5 - 7 PM MST, 7 - 9 PM EST
Question & Answer Session
The Writers Chatroom
One lucky participant will win an autographed copy of A Real Basket Case!

Monday, November 7, all day
Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers
Guest Post "Recipe for a Mystery Lover's Gift Basket" and Q&A

Wednesday, November 9, all day
Pat Bertram Introduces...
Interview and Q&A

Thursday, November 10, all day
dru's book musings
Guest Post on "A Day in the Life of Claire Hanover by Beth Groundwater" and Q&A. I'll give away an autographed copy of A Real Basket Case on this blog, so be sure to comment to enter the contest!

Speaking of contests... I'm running a book giveaway contest at Goodreads, ending November 5th. You can enter it HERE. And for the whole month of November, I'm reactivating my Q&A Discussion group on Goodreads. If you're a Goodreads member, please join and join in the discussions!

Is that enough? I sure hope so!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Judging a Book By Its Cover

Over at Inkspot today, the blog for Midnight Ink authors, I posted an article about my Midnight Ink book covers and how I've been able to influence their design. Cover art is very, very important in marketing a book, so I, like most authors, tend to obsess over them just a wee bit. ;-) Please read the post and let me know what you think about the topic in the comments.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Today's Mystery Author Guest: Barbara Graham

As promised yesterday, fellow mystery author Barbara Graham is visiting my blog today. To read her bio and see her photo, please page down to yesterday's post. Above is the cover photo for Murder By Music: The Wedding Quilt, the third book in her quilting mystery series.

In the book, autumn brings cooler temperatures to the Smoky Mountains. While the weather may be cooling down in tiny Park County, Tennessee, crime is heating up. Weevil Beasley, the county's loan shark, is found dead and the body count begins. Sheriff Tony Abernathy is soon up to the top of his bald head in murder and mayhem.

Tony's quiltmaker wife Theo is in the thick of it. When she leads her quilting group on a retreat, a killer follows. While dealing with cranky quilters, distraught hotel owners and unfinished projects, Theo has to keep track of gossip for her husband and barely has time to hand out the pattern for her new mystery quilt.

Below are Barbara's answers to my interview questions. Please leave a comment for Barbara, and if you have a question of your own for her, ask it!

1. Who or what inspired you to start writing and when did you start?

I didn’t write anything down but I remember making up stories in the third grade and at the same time, I stopped learning math. My early stories usually involved my getting a horse or saving the world or my horse and I saving the world. I also told lies if they would keep me out of trouble.

2. What tools and process do you use to “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books?

I like to visualize the whole person. My characters are very real to me no matter if they are irritating, lovable, stupid, bright, or killers. Because most of them are series people, it is a bit like sitting down with old friends and catching up—what’s new? Have you lost weight? Don’t tell me you’re talking to so-and-so again. Have you met the new teacher? What do you think about him?

3. How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”?

I would love to outline—but—it’s not possible for me without a brain transplant. My writing style is more like the weather map view of a hurricane. I start with the victim and everything swirls around it. The characters totally control the story—an intricate plot without people is less interesting to me. A linear search for the solution is unlikely to hold me and real people have multiple facets to their lives.

4. In the age-old question of character versus plot, which one do you think is most important in a murder mystery and which one do you emphasize in your writing?

Absolutely character.


Because I believe in a mystery the victim is the most important character in the book. Without a fully conceived victim, I cannot imagine creating the plot. Why does this person die, on this day, in this manner? From there I can find the killer.

5. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and what inspires you and keeps you motivated?

The challenge of finding an agent—so far I’m still failing at that one.
Followed by finding a traditional publisher without an agent—achieved. This was very important to me. I am waaaaay too stubborn to self-publish and my books definitely are better after being edited.

6. What is a typical workday for you and how many hours a day (or week) do you devote to writing?

My workdays are different according to the season. In the winter, when I get the most work done, I hang out on the couch with pen, notebook and a dog. I think. I play with ideas. I take the time to listen to the voices. Then I spend hours at the keyboard, stopping about four o’clock. In the summer, I walk the dogs before it gets too hot, work in the garden and hope I can still remember the ideas that come to me there when I get back inside.

7. What advice do you have to offer to an aspiring author?

Write. Write more and more. Nothing is more valuable for any art form than practice. Musicians play scales. Artists have sketchbooks. Dancers take technique classes. Genius is rare, the rest of us require conferences, classes and critiques. Don’t rely on spell check. Don’t give up. Almost all of us have three to twenty unpublished books behind us.

8. Now here’s a zinger. Tell us something about yourself that you have not revealed in another interview yet. Something as simple as your favorite TV show or food will do.

I love Big Bang Theory!

9. What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?

I’m doing publicity for Murder by Music: The Wedding Quilt which has on-sale date of 11/11/11 (how cool is that?). I’m doing rewrites for next year’s release Murder by Vegetable: The Baby Quilt and am plotting another in the series.

I am still searching for an agent, especially to represent a non-cozy suspense I have written.

10. Is there anything else you would like to tell my blog readers?

Visit my website please! I rarely blog, so thank you Beth for letting me chat on yours. I love to talk to readers, writers and quilters—although I realize I am geographically challenged by living where I do (think Yellowstone National Park)—I do enjoy traveling.

Thanks, Barbara! Now, who has a comment or question for her?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tomorrow's Guest: Barbara Graham

Tomorrow, fellow mystery author Barbara Graham will be a guest on my blog. Barbara publishes with Five Star Books, who started my gift basket designer series, and that's how we got to know each other and become friends.

Barbara Graham began making up stories in the third grade. Learning to multiply and divide paled in comparison. Born and mostly raised in the Texas Panhandle, she later lived in Denver, New Orleans and East Tennessee. Inspiration for Silersville comes from her Tennessee period. An unrepentant quilting addict, she has been a travel agent, ballet teacher and stay-at-home mom. She lives in Wyoming with her long suffering husband and two dogs. She is a long distance member of various writing groups including—Mystery Writers of America, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers.

In her guest post tomorrow, Barbara answers my interview questions, and I'm sure you'll be intrigued by what she has to say. Then, feel free to ask her some questions of your own in the comments.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cover Art! Cover Art! Woot! Woot! Woot!

My Midnight Ink editor sent the cover art yesterday for the second book in my RM Outdoor Adventures mystery series, Wicked Eddies. that will be released in May, 2012. I know I'm biased, but I think it's absolutely stunning. What do YOU think?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Today's Colorado Author Guest: Terry Odell

As promised yesterday, fellow Colorado author Terry Odell is visiting my blog today. To read her bio and see her photo, please page down to yesterday's post. Above is the cover photo for Finding Sarah, the first book in her Pine Hills Police series. Terry recently regained the rights to the books in this series and republished them as ebooks after updating them.

Here's a short blurb for the book. Being robbed at gunpoint wasn’t part of Sarah Tucker’s business plan. Neither was falling in love with the detective who arrived to solve the case. For police detective Randy Detweiler, a routine robbery investigation turns into the biggest challenge of his career when he falls in love with the victim and ends up having to save more than her business.

Below are Terry's answers to my interview questions. Please leave a comment for Terry, and if you have a question of your own for her, ask it!

1. Who or what inspired you to start writing and when did you start?

Inspiration? I ran out of room on my walls for needlepoint. I'm not one of those who wrote her first book in crayon. I was a card-carrying AARP member before I started writing, and it was more of a whim. You can find the whole story on my website. Look for "How I Became a Write By Mistake" on my homepage.

2. What tools and process do you use to “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books?

I follow Deb Dixon's GMC (Goal, Motivation, Conflict) method. I need to know what my characters want, why they want it, and what I can throw in their paths. For example, in FINDING SARAH, I created a cop who saw his job in black and white. I needed to know how far I could push him before he'd cross the line into shades of gray. In addition, because he became a cop because he wanted to help people, the heroine was a woman who wanted nothing more than to exert her independence, no matter what it took.

3. How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”?

I'm a pantser, or perhaps, more accurately, a "plantser" because I do plan things out. Just not too far in advance. I use an "idea board" to brainstorm my plots, and a "tracking board" to keep me on the right path. I've got a description of my methods on my website—look for "Plotting for Non-Plotters."

4. In the age-old question of character versus plot, which one do you think is most important in a murder mystery or romantic suspense novel and which one do you emphasize in your writing? Why?

I'm character driven. Also, most of my books are categorized as romantic suspense, not murder mysteries. I've managed to have 7 books published, most of which don't center around a murder. Hidden Fire, the sequel to Finding Sarah, is one of the few that might be considered a classic murder mystery. Realistically, homicides in small towns don't happen the way they did on Murder She Wrote, and there are plenty of other monkey wrenches to throw into the lives of my characters. I disagree that a "mystery" automatically assumes a murder, but that's a topic for another day.

5. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and what inspires you and keeps you motivated?

Traditional publishers had very narrow ranges of what makes a viable book. Since I write what I want, and not necessarily what traditional publishers are looking for, getting someone to publish my books is the biggest challenge.

Although I consider my books to be 'Mysteries with Relationships", given the publishing definitions, they're called Romantic Suspense. However, I'm definitely a mystery lover, NOT a suspense lover. There's a basic difference in the two sub-genres, and it's a matter of preference, not right/wrong or good/bad. Plus in romantic suspense, you also have to resolve a hero/heroine relationship in one book, not across a series, the way you can in a mystery series. I did break the rules when I wrote a sequel to Finding Sarah. Hidden Fire actually follows the same hero and heroine in another mystery.

Now, the rapid changes in the world of publishing make it possible for someone like me to take the rights back to my earlier books and make them available to readers who enjoy reading books that stray from the narrower confines of traditional publishers. And, I can continue to write what I want, knowing there's a market for them.

6. What advice do you have to offer to an aspiring author?

Read. Write. Read. Read. Write, Write, and read some more. Writing should be as necessary as breathing. Barf it up first, fix it later. Get the words on the page. You can't fix a blank page.

7. Now here’s a zinger. Tell us something about yourself that you have not revealed in another interview yet. Something as simple as your favorite TV show or food will do.

When I was at Ralph Waldo Emerson Jr. High, all 7th graders had to write an essay about the school's namesake. There was a prize (of which I was totally unaware) and I was summoned to the auditorium for the annual award ceremony to receive my five silver dollars. (Given that the award assembly was for graduating 9th graders, I was totally out of place.) However, that really didn't inspire me to become a writer. It was an essay, nothing more than one more homework assignment.

8. What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?

I've got a straight mystery with my editor, and I'm looking forward to publishing something outside of the romantic suspense world. I'm also writing another romantic suspense in my Pine Hills Police series—this one featuring new protagonists, but with many of the same characters from the first two books. I'm also considering putting together a few more short mystery stories featuring James T. Kirkland, a character who appears in a short story anthology, Deception, published by Highland Press. And of course, the boys from the covert side of Blackthorne, Inc. are always clamoring for their turn as heroes of another book.

9. Is there anything else you would like to tell my blog readers?

You can find me at my website. I have a new quarterly newsletter, and I hope you'll sign up for my mailing list. I also have a blog, Terry's Place, and I hope you'll follow me there. Keep an eye on the Deals and Steals tab—you'll never know what you might find.

Thanks, Terry! Now, who has a comment or question for her?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tomorrow's Guest: Terry Odell

Tomorrow fellow Colorado author Terry Odell will be a guest on my blog. Terry was born in Los Angeles, moved to Florida, and now makes her home in Colorado. An avid reader (her parents tell everyone they had to move from their first home because she finished the local library), she always wanted to "fix" stories so the characters did what she wanted. Once she began writing, she found this wasn't always possible, as evidenced when the mystery she intended to write rapidly became a romance. When she thought about it, she realized that her favorite mysteries were series where she could follow the developing relationships of the protagonist—to the point where she'd read the book twice; once for the relationship and again to follow the crime and its solution. So, she started reading romance, and found there was a genre that included mystery themes as well as a relationship. Although her genre is labeled "romantic suspense", Terry prefers to think of her books as "Mysteries With Relationships."

In her guest post tomorrow, Terry answers my interview questions, and I'm sure you'll be intrigued by what she has to say. Then, feel free to ask her some questions of your own in the comments.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Email Newsletters - What's Your Opinion?

Like many authors, I sporadically send an email newsletter out to subscribers. In it, I give news about upcoming releases and appearances, share other news such as book contracts and short story publications and great reviews, announce contest winners, and generally let my readers know what I've been up to lately.

Unlike many authors, I don't add colors or photos to my newsletter. I stick with plain black and white text and some active links, so for those readers with slow Internet connections, the newsletter loads quickly. I'm also quick to admit that I'm a dinosaur when it comes to learning new software packages. So, my newsletters don't contain fancy columns, type font changes, moving parts (such as dancing elves) or sound. And I try to keep them short, to no more than two pages in length when I draft them in Microsoft Word.

Also unlike many authors, I don't automatically subscribe friends and relatives, fellow authors and my Facebook and Goodreads friends. I'm a firm believer that doing so is spamming, and that people should explicitly have to "opt-in" to become a subscriber. That's why many of my relatives and close friends still don't receive it. They haven't asked for it. I use a service, Vertical Response, that keeps track of my subscriber database and allows people to opt-out every time they receive a newsletter--and usually a few do.

This brings me to the whole reason I wrote this post. I'm wondering if my readers feel the same way that I do about these email newsletter issues. Or, am I boring you with my plain Jane style? Would you rather have colors and photos and columns and fancy fonts? Are you insulted when you meet me at a conference or writing event and I don't automatically sign you up for my newsletter--or are you relieved? Should I send out my email newsletter more often, say once a month or once every two months instead of the four or so times a year that I do now (when I have something interesting to report)?

I'm really interested in hearing your opinions. Let me know what you think! And if you have suggestions for me on how to improve my email newsletter, please share them in the comments. Lastly, if you feel like you've been missing out and want to subscribe, go HERE. Thank-you!

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Box, an Interview, a Panel, and a Giveaway

What do all of these things have in common? They are signs that the promotion for the upcoming November re-release by Midnight Ink of A Real Basket Case, the first book in my Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series, is ramping up.

The box was delivered the day before yesterday and contained my author copies of the trade paperback version (the ebook version will be released in November, too). I also put in an order for a few more copies, so I'll have enough on hand for my November appearances in case the host bookstores didn't order enough copies.

The interview can be read on Andrea Gonzales's blog. Though it focuses on Deadly Currents, the first book in my RM Outdoor Adventure mystery series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner, it is a harbinger of interviews and guest blog posts to come in early November. Stay tuned here for dates, times, links and details.

The panel will occur this Saturday, October 15th. I will be appearing on a Mystery/Suspense Authors Panel that also includes David Boop and Warren Hammond for the Denver Writers Meetup from 1:00 to 4:00 PM at the Englewood Public Library, 1000 Englewood Parkway, Englewood, CO 80110. If you're in the area, please come to this free event!

And the giveaway is a Goodreads giveaway of a free copy of A Real Basket Case that starts tomorrow, October 15th and runs through November 5th. If you're a Goodreads member, go HERE to enter the giveaway.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park

Last week I posted photos from my husband's and my book research trip in Moab, Utah. The week following that trip, we stayed in Estes Park, Colorado for a week so we could do some hiking among the golden aspens and mountains of Rocky Mountain National Park and so we could spy on some of the horny elk during their bugling season.

But first, we stopped off at the Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction that is slated to become a national park soon. The first photo below is of Window Rock there, the second is of the Coke Ovens formation, and the third is of me in the Devil's Kitchen.

Our first full day in Estes Park, we drove up the dirt Old Fall River Road to the Alpine Visitor Center then came back down the Trail Ridge Road. The first photo is of Chasm Falls and the second is of the mountains from the top of Trail Ridge Road. The third is of a marmot we spied alongside the road and the fourth is just one example of the many gorgeous fall color photos my husband took.

In the afternoon, we hiked to Nymph Lake (first photo below), Dream Lake (second photo) and Emerald Lake (third photo) from the Bear Lake trailhead.

The second full day in the park we hiked to Ouzel Falls (first photo below) from the Wild Basin trailhead in the morning, then took our son, who arrived in the afternoon, down to the Estes Park golf course to see the elk and geese there (next two photos).

The third day, all three of us hiked to Alberta Falls (first photo below) and The Loch (second photo) from the Glacier Basin trailhead. While all of our hikes were beautiful, I think this one was the most breathtaking. The third photo shows our son on a rock overhanging Glacier Creek and the fourth shows me and my hubby among some of the dazzling aspens.

On the last full day in the park, we took our son up the Trail Ridge Road to see the sights from the overlooks and hike the Alpine Communities Trail at 12,500 feet. After he left in the early afternoon, I hiked to The Pool on the Big Thompson River from the Fern Lake trailhead (photo below). Then we observed elk stags in rut in the late afternoon: herding their does (second photo below), bugling (third photo), and sparring (last photo).

It was hard to have to go back to work promoting books at the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Trade Show the next afternoon!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Bargain!

I want to alert my blog readers to bargain prices for those who pre-order the trade paperback re-release of the first book in my Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series, A Real Basket Case. Its release date will be November 8th, and its list price will be $14.96. However, both Barnes & Noble and Amazon have it priced at just over $10 for pre-orders. I have no control over these sale prices, and I don't know how long they'll last. So, if you want one, I suggest you order now!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Promoting a Re-Release

On Inkspot today, the blog for Midnight Ink authors, I talk about my plans (including a book giveaway contest!) to promote the trade paperback and ebook re-release of A Real Basket Case, the first book in my Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series, which was released in hardcover in 2007. I ask Inkspot readers for suggestions of other ways I can promote a re-release. I'm looking for activities that are fairly inexpensive and that won't take a lot of time away from my writing schedule for Cataract Canyon, the third book in my RM Outdoor Adventure series. I'd love to see some out-of-the-box suggestions there, so please stop by and leave a comment for me!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Book Research Trip to Moab, Utah: Part Three

On the last two days, I posted photos from the first two thirds of my book research trip to Moab, Utah. I'll finish up today with photos from the last day of my 3-day, 100-mile trip on the Colorado River through Meander Canyon and Cataract Canyon and on into Lake Powell. The last day of the river trip started with the three biggest rapids of the whole journey, Big Drop 1, 2, and 3. The photo below shows our boatman Dave powering upstream while scouting a rapid downstream over his shoulder to find the best path through it.

In the photos below, you'll see how wet we got (from head to toe--see the water pouring off the rafter in the first photo) and how carefully we're clutching on to the boat ropes and metal handholds to stay INSIDE the J-rig. We did not want to swim those rapids!

However, in a gentler class II rapid downstream, the guides said folks could try swimming a rapid, and my adventuresome hubby jumped in (see below).

After running the last eight rapids, we reached the placid waters of Lake Powell (first photo below) that had backed up into Cataract Canyon and flooded the remaining rapids. We beached at Dark Canyon to eat lunch and hike through a muddy stream bed back to a short waterfall (second and third photos below). Then it was my turn for a swim in Lake Powell (last photo below).

A great feature of the trip was a scenic ride in a six-seater airplane from Hite Marina on Lake Powell back to the Moab airport. We were able to see many of the places we'd been from the air, including Lake Powell (first photo), the Big Drop rapids (second photo), the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers (third photo) and the area where we hiked over the relatively lower spot in the canyon wall from one side of "The Loop" to the other. The last photo below shows the plane.

That night we took hot showers, soaked in the motel's hot tub, changed into clean clothes, ate a delicious Thai dinner in town, and fell into soft, comfy beds. Ah! The next day was a very full one. First we drove into the Island in the Sky portion of Canyonlands National Park and visited all of the overlooks and the famous Mesa Arch (photo below).

Then we drove the dirt switchback Shafer Trail (first photo below) down to a remote overlook (second photo below). There were several EEK moments on that trail!

After that we visited Dead Horse Point State Park to look down on a river section that we had rafted days before. Then we rushed over to Arches National Park so my hubby could capture a couple of more iconic photos before the sun set. Balanced Rock is in the first photo and Delicate Arch is in the second. The last one shows the mass of photographers from all over the world who at the ready to take that sought-after sunset shot of Delicate Arch.

We made friends with some of the photographers who had flashlights (we'd rushed up the 1.5 mile trail without ours) and hiked back in the dark with them lighting the way. After a delicious Mexican dinner at 9 PM, we fell into bed. A jam-packed week in Moab, and we still want to go back!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Book Research Trip to Moab, Utah: Part Two

As I posted yesterday, my hubby and I recently traveled to Moab, Utah so I could conduct research for the third book in my Rocky Mountain Outdoor Adventures mystery series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner. In that book, Mandy and her lover and outfitter business partner, Rob Juarez, will lead a multi-day rafting trip down 100 miles of the Colorado River in Utah, through the stillwaters of Meander Canyon and the class III and IV whitewater rapids of Cataract Canyon, one of the most remote whitewater rafting canyons in the United States. So, of course, I had to take the same trip!

Here are some photos from that amazing journey. First are some petroglyphs, rock art carved by ancestral Puebloans into the desert patina of the cliffside that could be seen along the road to our put-in at the Potash Boat Ramp west of Moab on the Colorado River.

The photo below shows boatman Dave and me loading the J-rig, a configuration of two large pontoons with a metal platform slung between them that is powered by an outboard motor in the back. Beside the J-rig is a high-speed motorized launch from Tag-A-Long (the highly recommended outfitter we used for our trip) that drops and picks up canoes and paddlers from various places in Meander Canyon. The next photo shows an early stop in our journey at a petrified forest site below Dead Horse Point, with river guide Justin peering at one large, long log.

The photo below is of a party flotilla we encountered in Meander Canyon (heavy drinking involved, I'm sure!), and the one after that is of a ancient granary across the river from Lathrop Canyon. The third photo shows the "bathtub ring," a white layer of rock that is very striking in parts of the canyon.

The next two photos are from our hike over a short intersection between two loops in the Colorado River, while Dave and Justin took the boat four miles around the meander to meet us on the other side. The first photo shows me climbing up on one side and second shows the two of us overlooking the other side and the beach where we camped that evening. The third photo shows the kitchen set up at that camp and the last is of sunset bathing the rocks with beautiful orange light. A wonderful first day!

On the morning of the second day of our 3-day trip, we motored down to the confluence with the Green River, which swelled the volume of the Colorado River to about 12,000 cfs (cubic feet per second). For the Cataract Canyon section, this was a fairly low volume of water, which can rise to around 60,000 cfs in spring flood season. Below the confluence, we pulled in to register at the danger sign for our campsite that evening (see below).

The next stop was at a large flat beach area called Spanish Bottom, where we hiked to the Doll House formation at the top of the canyon rim after going through a field of moonflowers (see below). These plants are also called sacred datura or jimson weed and were used by the native Americans to induce hallucinations during ceremonies. The second photo shows part of the Doll House formation at the top and the third shows the view down to the river from there.

Now, on to the rapids! Cataract Canyon contains 28 major class III or class IV rapids within its 30 miles. We didn't get a whole lot of photos of the rapids because we were supposed to hold on with BOTH hands when we went through them. I told my dear hubby I'd rather he'd hold on than snap photos for me, so the ones he took were just before or just after running a rapid.

We pulled out for the night after rapid 20 and just before the next three rapids, which are called Big Drop 1, 2, and 3. We walked down the river bank to see what we had to look forward to the next day. Below is a photo of Big Drop 1, and here's a link to a video of it, with myself and one of my fellow rafters added for size:

The last photo is of our campsite on Big Drop Beach the second night. I plan to post photos tomorrow from the last day of the rafting trip and of the next day we spent in Moab at Canyonlands National Park.